"We have great support from teams and fans and we never really feel the pressure" Interview with REZ
We got the chance to talk with Fredrik 'REZ' Sterner during media day at BLAST Pro Series Lisbon about NiP's recent practices and what he expects from their first few matches in Lisbon.
You’ve been on the rise these last few months, getting consistent top 5 finishes at the last few LANs you attended. Having that in mind, how is the confidence within the team for this event and the next year?
REZ: I think we always manage to perform at all events and we never really have pressure against us because we always get this feeling that everyone wants us to do well and they don't really feel bad if we don't do bad. We have great support from teams and fans and we never really feel the pressure. With that, we do pretty well at tournaments. With that factor going into tournaments, we have this mentality of always going in positive and we never negative.
You’re matching up against Na’vi in the first round, on Overpass. Statistically, that is one of your weaker maps recently. How do you see that match up?
REZ: We were good on Overpass. We are good, actually it was our best map for a while, few months ago. And when we were so good people started banning it against us, so we never got to play it, so that's why we pretty much got the worst because we never had the chance to play it.
ghazz: Your win percentage on the last few maps have been going down on Overpass.
REZ: Yeah, that happens when we can't play it anymore and now it looks like we can start playing it again and that«s great because we are practicing on it more and we didn't get to do that before because we were so great.
On the second round you’re facing one of the two teams this event that is playing with a stand-in, MiBR. Not only that, they’re also inside a mist of rumors regarding their future and their players. How can that information work on your favor to this match?
REZ: It's always tough I guess. I think it's tough playing against new lineups when they haven't practiced with a new guy because you never know what he likes to do, how he performs or what he likes to do with the team because you can't really read or analyze them and that's the tough part of it. On the weaker side for them, they haven't practiced and may not adapt that well as a team and it may be more tough for them than it will be us facing them. If we think more of what we like to do and how we play, then we will win
What aspect of your game do you feel needs improving the most at the moment to get you even better and more consistent results in the short and long-term?
REZ: I think we need to do what we are doing right now, play as much tournaments and as much hours as we can in the game. If you look at top teams right now they are everywhere they go to every tournament possible pretty much and that is how you will develop and perform as a team. so we just need to play more maybe, and find ourselves. we have done a lot to find ourselves so we can improve in our matches and stuff, there is still a lot we are working on.
Although missing the Pro League finals is never a good thing, that can work in your favour coming up to BLAST Pro Series Lisbon, since you had more time to practice and prepare. How have been this last few weeks regarding that aspect?
REZ: Skipping or not making to ESL Pro League made us better, yea like you said, we had time to practice more and that's always good when you come into tournaments because you will always be favorites. The other teams [at EPL] played and we watched them and analyzed them, and they will be scared of us because they know that we watched them and how they played so I think it's a good benefit for us in the mental part.
What are your expectations towards the next year?
REZ: I think we lifted at least one trophy [in 2018], i'm not sure and I am not proud of it. I just want to lift as many trophies as possible. At least be a consistent top 5 or 3 team and yea always perform good and don't choke.
You’re one of the most loved teams in the scene, and that is no exception regarding the Portuguese fans. Do you want to leave a message to them?
REZ: I have never been in Portugal and I am really excited to see the crowd cheering for us as well, and I am really happy to have the opportunity to meet them and learn how the Portuguese culture works. It's gonna be amazing and fun as well.